Officials said, Thursday, that the United States will increase aid for the Corona virus vaccine to 11 African countries, in an attempt to prevent future changes and enhance vaccination efforts in the least immunized continent.
Through the Global Vaccine Access Initiative, or Global Vax, the Biden administration will provide “extensive financial, technical, and diplomatic support” to African countries that have recently demonstrated their ability to accelerate vaccine uptake, according to a statement from Rebecca Shalev, a spokeswoman for the United States Agency for International Development.
The agency said it selected a handful of countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Angola, Eswatini, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – based on the burden of Covid-19 on their populations. , the capacity of their health systems, their willingness to rapidly manage vaccine doses in the absence of supply constraints and their ability to effectively deploy additional US investment. The agency has committed $510 million to support global immunization programmes, and more than half of this funding will go to the first group of African countries.
The Global Vax initiative began in December to help countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, get more shots into more guns. Even as African countries did Receive more vaccinationsmany of them have I struggled to distribute it Because of the shortage of ultra-cold chain freezers needed to prevent doses from expiring and because of difficulties in delivering them to remote towns and villages. The frequency of vaccines and misinformation also caused problems.
With the additional financial assistance from the Biden administration, these 11 African countries will receive “increased participation from the US government and funding to rapidly assess needs and increase the rate of vaccination, including support from experts here in the United States and in the field,” the statement said. .
The latest support from the US government comes as the World Health Organization has begun sending 42 experts to at least 18 African countries facing challenges in managing vaccines. For three to six months — and in some cases up to a year — these experts are assigned to help countries like Burundi, Ethiopia and Mozambique with financial planning, managing vaccine stocks, and improving public health measures.
Currently, only 12 percent of the African population – or 168 million people – has been fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization, and Africa accounts for only 3.5 percent of the 10.3 billion doses given globally.
An average of six million people in Africa are vaccinated each week, but health officials say so needs to increase To about 36 million if the continent is to reach the common goal of vaccinating 70 percent of each country’s population by the middle of this year.
Inequality in access to vaccines has been a contentious issue over the past year, with African leaders and public health officials accusing rich nations of Storage doses And A mockery of fairness in vaccines By giving booster shots. The debate over equality in vaccine production, production and distribution became a sharp focus this week when European and African leaders met in brussels.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Friday Six African countries Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia will be the first to obtain the technology needed to produce mRNA vaccines.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he welcomed the commitment.
“This is an initiative that will allow us to make our own vaccines, which is very important to us,” Mr. Ramaphosa said in a statement. “It means mutual respect, mutual recognition of what we can all give the party, investing in our economies, investing in infrastructure and, in many ways, giving back to the continent.”
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